5 minute Portraits

While at a family function this past weekend, I was asked to take a few quick pictures.  Quick was the key word because the girls were much more interested in playing than smiling nicely for a picture.  Knowing this, I planned ahead on keeping it simple.  I put my 35mm on the X-T1 and set the aperture to f/4 to keep the balance of the light coming through the window, shutter speed to 1/125 and ISO to 400.  For my main light I had a speedlight attached to my camera via a TTL cable and had an Fstoppers Flash Disc on the flash.  I normally like to use flash in manual mode, but I didn’t have the time to dial it in right.  TTL came through.  In the first picture, I wanted more directional light so I held the flash to camera left, which was close to the same axis of light coming in from the window.  Once I had multiple subjects in the frame, I held the flash to camera right to try and balance the light from the window (left) to give a more even lighting situation.  Given this was setup in two minutes and I shot the pictures in another 3, I’m happy with the results.

High Water on Jacob’s Creek

It feels as if the past month has been nothing but freezing temperature’s and snow.  Today however, that changed just a bit for half the day when the mercury got above 40 and all that snow and ice started to melt.  It rained for most of the day as well.  Reports started coming in about local streams, creeks and rivers being inundated with loads of extra water.  Once I finished working, I grabbed a camera, lens and tripod and off I went to a local creek to see it for myself.

Starting in the early afternoon, the temperature started to drop again and the rain turned to snow.  The light was fading fast so I set up my tripod, attached my remote shutter and prayed that the weather sealing on the X-T1 and Fuji 18-135mm would keep the water out.

ISO was locked at 200 and the aperture set to f/8 (and be there).  Shutter speeds varied between 3 seconds at the beginning and once the light was about gone it slowed down to 13 seconds.  The camera and lens seems to have weathered the snow/rain combo without issue.

A Cold Winter Day

While the past few weeks in south-west Pennsylvania has been quite frigid, today it warmed up just a bit and the sun made an appearance.  This made for a nice hike around Ohiopyle.  Having read that Cucumber Falls was totally frozen over, I decided to take a trip down to the Cascades as well as Jonathan Run Falls since I have never been to those in winter.  Both of those were almost all iced up as well.

For this trip, I packed very light since I wanted to test out my new Fuji 18-135mm lens.  I left my primes at home, which made for a compact and lightweight kit.  Basically all I had was the X-T1, 18-135mm, Variable ND Filter, batteries, memory cards and my Benro Travel Angel tripod.  Everything seemed to work great and even though the lighting was rather harsh (due to the time of day and a cloudless sky), the pictures were what I was hoping for.  I am ready for it to warm up and for Spring to arrive.